Reporting Pat Sweeting
LANSING (WWJ) - Should sex offenders have access to their own children? State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood of Taylor is pushing a bill that would block such access unless proof is offered that the child would not be at risk.
The Downriver Democrat would like to see the public get involved in the push to get this new child protection law on the books.
“Absolutely … create an awareness. I think the more people know about something, the more they can take action and maybe write their legislator and call for support for this,” Hopgood said.
Allen Park motherAmy Carnes, who has been fighting to keep her young child away from her ex-husband, said she supports the proposed bill.
“My ex-husband was arrested in August of 2008 for soliciting children on the Internet for sex, and he is the father of my 5-year-old daughter,” she told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Pat Sweeting. “Currently I am in custody disputes … He served prison time; he is now off of parole, and he is wanting to obtain visitation — supervised and unsupervised.
Carnes said she is amazed there are not specific laws already on the books to prevent this. She said she’s been fighting to try to terminate her ex-husband’s parental rights, but has been told that until he does something to harm his daughter, that won’t happen.
Hopgood said it’s not know exactly how many children are harmed when returned to the custody of a parent who is a convicted sex abuser.